Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a reporter covering race, ethnicity and culture for NPR's Code Switch team. In early 2015, he will move to NPR's New York bureau to cover the Northeast as a National Desk reporter.

After joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, Wang reported on topics ranging from immigration and demographics to movies and graphic novels. In 2014, he won the National Journalism Award for General Excellence in Radio from the Asian American Journalists Association for his profile of a white member of a Boston Chinatown gang. His report on a former slave jail near Washington, D.C., was chosen as a finalist for a Salute to Excellence National Media Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Wang contributed to NPR's breaking news coverage of the 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla., the trial of George Zimmerman in Florida, the Washington Navy Yard shooting and the chemical spill in West Virginia's Elk River. He has also reported for Seattle public radio station KUOW and worked behind the scenes of NPR's Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

Currently based in Washington, D.C., Wang was born in Philadelphia, where his first job was to find and furnish apartments for newly-arrived refugees. He graduated from Swarthmore College with a bachelor's degree in political science. As a student, he hosted, produced, and reported for a weekly radio program on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wang speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of Chinese.

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1:55am

Thu November 20, 2014
New Boom

Despite Low Employment, Millennials Hold Key To Reviving South Texas

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 10:02 am

Olmo Maldonado (center) returned to his hometown of McAllen, Texas, despite the low employment rate for millennials.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Welcome to boot camp for the young and unemployed in McAllen, Texas.

"We're going to go ahead and do this," says instructor Marco Lopez, leading a small classroom of millennials through do's and don'ts for job seekers inside a strip mall near McAllen.

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3:09pm

Sat November 8, 2014
Code Switch

As GOP Swept Congress, Black Republicans Took Home Historic Wins

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 4:33 pm

Republican Mia Love celebrates with her supporters after winning the race for Utah's 4th Congressional District on Tuesday.
Rick Bowmer AP

The Republican Party made historic gains during this week's midterm elections. Among their victories were three wins by black Republicans, who seem to be building momentum for diversifying the GOP ranks.

Mia Love — who is Mormon and Haitian-American — is one of those three, and Republicans in Utah's 4th District will be sending her to Congress next year.

"Many of the naysayers out there said that Utah would never elect a black, Republican, LDS woman to Congress," Love told a crowd on Tuesday. "And guess what? Not only did we do it, we were the first to do it!"

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12:06pm

Sat November 1, 2014
The Two-Way

Investigation Of Deadly Spaceship Crash Begins In Mojave Desert

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 5:55 pm

Wreckage lies near the site where a Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, crashed in Mojave, Calif., on Friday.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

More than a dozen investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are on the ground in California's Mojave Desert to find out why a manned spaceship crashed on Friday.

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2:53am

Fri October 24, 2014
Code Switch

A Tale Of Asian Gangs Unleashed In 'Green Dragons' Film

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 3:40 pm

Paul Wong (Harry Shum, Jr.) leads the Green Dragons, a young, Asian-American gang that trafficked Chinese immigrants into the U.S. with help from the so-called "Snakehead Mama" (Eugenia Yuan).
Courtesy of A24 Films

Thousands of Chinese immigrants took to the seas in the 1980s and 1990s. Many stowed away on cargo ships, spending months on voyages to America organized by Chinese-American gangs in New York.

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2:33am

Wed October 22, 2014
Politics

Concern Over New-Voter Registration In Georgia Ahead Of Election

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 3:26 pm

A voter casts her ballot at a polling site for Georgia's 2014 primary election in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

This election season is proving to be tough for Democrats, but many believe they can turn the red state of Georgia blue with the help of new voters.

One voter registration campaign led by the New Georgia Project, a "nonpartisan effort" according to its website, has targeted black, Latino and Asian-American residents.

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5:30pm

Tue September 30, 2014
Code Switch

Mexico Pays To Help Its Citizens Avoid Deportation From The U.S.

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 6:08 pm

Mexican consulates, like this one in Houston, are helping some unauthorized immigrants from Mexico pay application fees for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
WhisperToMe Wikimedia Commons

Mexico is helping some of its citizens apply for a controversial immigration program in the U.S. called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Since the Obama administration created the program in 2012, more than 580,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors have received temporary relief from deportation and been given work permits that last for at least two years.

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2:12am

Wed September 17, 2014
Code Switch

'Breaking Bad' Fans Get Their Fix In Spanish

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:50 pm

In Metástasis, Diego Trujillo (center) plays Walter Blanco, a chemistry teacher who sells crystal meth with his former student José Miguel Rosas, played by Roberto Urbina.
Manuel Rodriguez UniMás

How do you remake the award-winning AMC series Breaking Bad in Spanish?

Well, all you need — as the show's chemistry teacher-turned-drug dealer, Walter White, might say — is "a little tweak of chemistry."

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11:55am

Mon September 1, 2014
Code Switch

To Model Manhood, Immigrant Dads Draw From Two Worlds

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 2:53 pm

Lindolfo Carballo, an immigrant from El Salvador, meets his son, Raynel, outside school. In El Salvador, he says, families often "teach their boys one thing and their girls differently." He's trying to set a different example for his children.
Sarah Tilotta for NPR

Lindolfo Carballo knows there's a stereotype about men like him. He grew up in San Miguel, El Salvador, he says, in a male-dominant culture.

"I'm coming from a so-called 'machista' country, right? I mean, in this country, we all think that Latin America, in general, is where machismo is promoted," Carballo says.

In many families in Latin America, he adds, "parents — fathers and even mothers — teach their kids that men are to be served by their sisters."

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7:59am

Sun August 24, 2014
Code Switch

50 Years Before Ferguson, A Summer Of Riots Racked The U.S.

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 10:02 am

Police officers struggle with a man dripping wet from the blast of a fire hose during rioting in Rochester, N.Y., in 1964.
Dozier Mobley AP

Fifty years ago this summer — a half-century before the protests in Ferguson, Mo. — riots broke out in seven cities in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania, sparked by confrontations between black residents and their predominantly white police forces.

In Philadelphia, the violence began after dark, in late August.

"It was a hot day and just wasn't too much activity in the hood, as they say," remembers Kenneth Salaam, who was 15 years old in 1964.

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9:15am

Thu August 14, 2014
Code Switch

Wanted At Barneys New York: An 'Anti-Profiling Consultant'

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 11:22 am

People walk by a Barneys New York retail store in New York City.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

The luxury retailer Barneys New York is hiring.

WANTED: an "anti-profiling consultant."

The hire is just one part of Barneys' new settlement with the New York state attorney general's office, as The Two-Way reported this week.

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2:04pm

Wed August 6, 2014
News

Uncertainty Stalls Recruiting Efforts For Deportation Relief

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 10:18 am

A crowd waits in line to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in Los Angeles on the program's first day on Aug. 15, 2012.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Next week marks the second anniversary of the start of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It allows young immigrants — those who were brought to the U.S. illegally before turning 16 — to avoid deportation and get a work permit for two years.

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5:56am

Sat August 2, 2014
Code Switch

James Shigeta 'Led The Way' For Asian-American Lovers On Screen

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 1:27 pm

Hidenari Terasaki (James Shigeta) kisses the hand of his wife, Gwen (Carroll Baker), in the 1961 film Bridge to the Sun.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Getty Images

Actor James Shigeta had the looks, the talent — and the voice.

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6:03am

Sat July 26, 2014
Code Switch

At Washington's Training Camp, Fans Are Split On Name Change

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:52 pm

A Washington Redskins helmet lies on the turf at the football team's training facility in Richmond, Va.
AP

Washington, D.C.'s football team has opened its training camp in Richmond, Va., just weeks after trademark registrations for its name were revoked.

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5:54pm

Fri July 18, 2014
Code Switch

New York's 'Night Of Birmingham Horror' Sparked A Summer Of Riots

Helmeted New York City police carry away a rioter at West 130th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem on July 19, 1964.
AP

9:04am

Sun July 13, 2014
Remembrances

'Without Tommy, There's No Ramones'

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:38 am

Tommy Ramone, the original drummer for the Ramones, died Friday at the age of 65.
Ian Dickson Redferns/Getty Images

Punk rock music has lost one of its earliest pioneers.

Tommy Ramone died of cancer on Friday at his home in Queens, N.Y. He was the last surviving member of the original Ramones.

Tommy Ramone was Tamás Erdélyi before he became a "Ramone" and produced punk rock classics like "Rockaway Beach."

He was born in Budapest, where, as kid, he once had a memorable trip to see a movie about America.

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5:37pm

Tue July 1, 2014
Code Switch

Language Barriers Pose Challenges For Mayan Migrant Children

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 5:43 pm

Hugo Pascual Tomas Manuel, 15, attends English classes at the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, Fla. He grew up speaking Q'anjob'al, or Kanjobal, an indigenous Mayan language.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Among the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have come from Central America this year are children who speak little or no Spanish. Many are from Guatemala's indigenous communities, who speak more than 20 different Mayan languages.

Rafael Domingo, 16, grew up in Guatemala speaking Q'anjob'al, sometimes referred to as Kanjobal. The youngest son of a single mother, he rode a bus, walked for miles and crossed a river before he was stopped at the Texas border.

"It was so difficult to come to this country," Domingo says through an interpreter.

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2:23pm

Fri June 27, 2014
Code Switch

Wave Of Guatemalan Migrant Children Presents Unique Challenges

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 7:46 am

Two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz.
Ross D. Franklin AP

President Obama issued a warning this week to any parents in Mexico and Central America considering allowing their children to cross the U.S. border alone.

"Do not send your children to the borders," he told ABC News. "If they do make it, they'll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it."

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2:15pm

Tue June 24, 2014
Code Switch

The Map Of Native American Tribes You've Never Seen Before

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has designed a map of Native American tribes showing their locations before first contact with Europeans.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Finding an address on a map can be taken for granted in the age of GPS and smartphones. But centuries of forced relocation, disease and genocide have made it difficult to find where many Native American tribes once lived.

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has pinpointed the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contact with Europeans.

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2:32pm

Wed June 18, 2014
News

Ruling On Redskins' Trademarks Carries Symbolic Weight

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six trademark registrations held by the Washington Redskins. Today's ruling determined the football teams trademark name is disparaging to Native Americans and unfit for federal registration. But as Hansi Lo Wang of NPR's Code Switch team reports, the team still owns the Redskins name and can continue to use it.

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6:57am

Sat June 14, 2014
Code Switch

50 Years Ago, Freedom Summer Began By Training For Battle

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 4:51 pm

Freedom Summer activists sing before leaving training sessions at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, for Mississippi in June 1964.
Ted Polumbaum Collection Newseum

Idealism drove hundreds of college students to Mississippi 50 years ago.

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